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A Social Cognitive Explanation of Internet Uses and Gratifications: Toward a New Theory of Media Attendance
Unformatted Document Text:  Status outcomes, a gratification/outcome dimension identified by SCT but underrepresented in prior Uses and gratifications research in which predictions of exposure levels were the focus, further added to our ability to explain Internet attendance. Indeed, this variable subsumed the effects of the two conventional gratification dimensions on Internet usage. The perceived ability of the Internet to improve one’s lot in life thus emerges as a powerful motivating factor for the use of the medium. Uses and gratifications research, including Internet studies, have tended to subsume habit in other gratifications dimensions, usually under either an entertainment or “pass time” factor. Here, it emerged as a powerful and independent predictor of media exposure even after the effects of gratifications sought/expected outcomes had been accounted for. This lends credence to the initial supposition that the significance of habit strength had been previously overlooked owing to underidentification of the variable: the items used in previous studies were perhaps too few or too ambiguously worded to properly distinguish this variable. This finding lends credence to the conceptualization of habit strength as a distinct construct from gratifications/expected outcomes. The low-to- moderate zero-order correlations between habit and expected outcomes perhaps indicated the availability of memories of past active media selection processes, in the form anticipated by Uses and gratifications research, that had become dormant with repetition. In this vein, it is interesting to note that among newer Internet users (those who had been online less than three years) the correlations between expected outcomes and usage were higher than among those with more experience. For example, the correlation between activity outcomes and usage was .545 for new users, compared to .345 for the more experienced ones. This could indicate that the newer users were still making active media

Authors: Eastin, Matthew. and Larose, Robert.
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Status outcomes, a gratification/outcome dimension identified by SCT but
underrepresented in prior Uses and gratifications research in which predictions of
exposure levels were the focus, further added to our ability to explain Internet attendance.
Indeed, this variable subsumed the effects of the two conventional gratification
dimensions on Internet usage. The perceived ability of the Internet to improve one’s lot in
life thus emerges as a powerful motivating factor for the use of the medium.
Uses and gratifications research, including Internet studies, have tended to
subsume habit in other gratifications dimensions, usually under either an entertainment or
“pass time” factor. Here, it emerged as a powerful and independent predictor of media
exposure even after the effects of gratifications sought/expected outcomes had been
accounted for. This lends credence to the initial supposition that the significance of habit
strength had been previously overlooked owing to underidentification of the variable: the
items used in previous studies were perhaps too few or too ambiguously worded to
properly distinguish this variable. This finding lends credence to the conceptualization of
habit strength as a distinct construct from gratifications/expected outcomes. The low-to-
moderate zero-order correlations between habit and expected outcomes perhaps indicated
the availability of memories of past active media selection processes, in the form
anticipated by Uses and gratifications research, that had become dormant with repetition.
In this vein, it is interesting to note that among newer Internet users (those who had been
online less than three years) the correlations between expected outcomes and usage were
higher than among those with more experience. For example, the correlation between
activity outcomes and usage was .545 for new users, compared to .345 for the more
experienced ones. This could indicate that the newer users were still making active media


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